Helpless

No doubt about it, Americans spend a lot of time feeling helpless.

Helpless about Katrina. Helpless about the BP oil spill. Helpless about the wars.

When put in perspective, it’s amazing how much we actually are able to help. I mean, we’re not in the middle of Uganda where someone will shoot us if we try to do something about the situation. No dictator will have our arms chopped off if we lend a helping hand to another human being or species. We’re prisoners to computers and cubicles, not burqas.

It’s just that, like most things in the world, helping is just too damn hard. It takes too much time that we’re unable to spare, too much money that we’ll never be able to earn and too much power that we’re convinced belongs to others around us—the same people who we blame when the going gets tough.

As news trickled out about Republican operatives playing really dirty yet seemingly legal tricks to get the Green Party on the ballot in Texas to suck votes away from Bill White, I felt swindled. It was starting to feel like 2001 all over again, with a shady Rovian character named Tim Mooney—who has a history of “ballot initiatives” in order to change the outcome of an election—predetermining Texas’s political fate before a single vote had been cast or counted. If you feel like big government is trying to take over, you’re right. Guess who wins when it does? Rick Perry.

To make matters worse, Democrats—that’s you and that’s me, if you’re a Democrat and you’re reading this—failed to field a Democratic candidate for Comptroller this year. That means the Green Party will more than likely get 5% of the vote in 2010 allowing them to appear automatically on the ballot in 2012, which will no doubt drain votes from Democrats all the way down the ballot in a Presidential year.

How could we have not found someone to run for Comptroller? It’s easy to point fingers at the state Party. After all, what’s my $20 monthly donation going toward if not candidate recruitment for taking back statewide seats? It’d also be convenient to blame special interests or even Republicans for this one for holding us back.

But the more I read about this Republican heist of our political process, dyed in their favorite color—green—and the more helpless I started to feel, the more I have to remind myself that none of this makes me helpless. Someone could have and should have run for Comptroller, but who or what was stopping me or you from stepping up to the plate? Not money, not time, not power but our predetermined state of helplessness.

No, we’re not going to change the world tomorrow and no one, not even a man that can catch a fly with one hand during an interview with CNBC, has all the answers when it comes to quagmires of oil, blood and money. But it’s a simple thought process, really, for the people of this country to end the helplessness meme. We’re not living in a third world country and if you don’t like being outmaneuvered by evil Republicans and people like Rick Perry, it’s time to stop pointing fingers and start being helpful.

Find your time, find your wealth, find your power. We live in America. We already have a fortune of all three.
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